Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | November 13, 2019

EU Go, Girl! Adventures in Europe: Part # 10

My time in Paris has come to an end, but my adventure in Europe continues, as I have now made my way to Edinburgh. I spent my last couple of days in Paris doing things a little more “low key” than the previous days. I slept in – the Ibis hotel, though a budget hotel, really was one of the most comfortable and quiet places I stayed this trip – then wandered to the Musée de L’Orangerie, as I had been told I should check out Monet’s Nymphes (Waterlilies) that are exhibited there.

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One of Monet’s Nymphes (Waterlilies) murals.

They were really quite lovely, and I think what I like about them is that they really aren’t about the waterlilies or the garden so much as they are about the transient properties of light. At least, that is what I like to think. They are also huge and hard to capture on camera, given they are curved murals. Very interesting.

The other part of the museum that was open was the temporary exhibit of Felix Fénéon’s collection of art (the rest of the permanent collection area undergoing renovations), which was also interesting. It gave a critic and writer’s perspective, and the works were post-impressionist plus some works by Indigenous African artists.

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A bird in the hand.

After the museum, I went back to the nearby Jardin des Tuilleries, as I had some bread from the previous day’s dinner in my purse, and wanted to see if the birds would come to me as well. They did, and it was such a joyful experience that, for my last day in Paris, I went back and did the same altogether. I brought way more bread that time, though I was worried for a bit it would be for nought as the sky decided to empty rain on us. I ducked under one of the little canopies nearby, with others caught in the deluge. Thanks to a handy set of napkins I’d shoved in my purse, I dried off one of the metal chairs and read for about a half hour, until the rain subsided. And then, the birds feasted, and I got to feel amazing and magic.

After that, it was back to the hotel, where I waited for my Super Shuttle. Sage told me about the service, a shared ride that picks you up at your hotel and takes you to the airport directly. It’s more expensive than the train, but cheaper than a taxi, and it meant I didn’t have to try to haul my luggage up and down several flights of stairs while trying to beware of potential pickpockets. Very worth it on so many levels, and it was super convenient.

After that, it was an Air France flight to Edinburgh, with a 10:30 at night arrival, and then a cab to my hotel, where we pulled up while a fire alarm was going off and the place evacuated. It was a false alarm, so I’m happy to laugh at having to wait until the firemen gave the all clear to check in!

Today has been a bit of a rest day, too. I was torn between holing up and watching Netflix  and reading all day, or getting out. I decided to do a bit of both, and ventured down to Princes’ Street and the Royal Mile. It’s been 14 years since I was last here, if not more, but I did feel the stirrings of familiarity in some locations and, for the rest, there’s Google maps. In addition to a lovely lunch at Bella Italia, I met a gorgeous owl and a lovely little falcon on the Royal Mile, ad I got to hold Hazel the Owl and have my picture taken.

I also walked up toward the castle, saw the hostel where my BFF and I first stayed when we arrived in September 2005, and rubbed the toe of the David Hume statue even though I’m not a student anymore. Then I eventually made my way up toward the hotel (the wonder Crowne Plaza Edinburgh Royal Terrace!) passing Calton Hill (I’ll have to get pictures when it isn’t so close to evening and the light is better), made a wrong turn when my free wifi dropped and ended up walking up the hill a second time to find my way, then had dinner. A good day, for sure.


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